Ellen Halpin-Barnett, Nana Lily's

Nana Lily’s decadent, fruity Christmas pudding goes back four generations all the way to my Great Grandmother. This fruit filled traditional plum pudding is flavoured with warm Christmas spices and liberally laced with Kilbeggan Irish whiskey.

The recipe was passed down to me from my Grandmother and Mother; both of whom were called Lily. My festive puddings won acclaim with family and friends, who convinced me to start producing them to sell. My mouth watering traditional recipe has even captured the Interest of the British Ambassador to the US, following a trade mission to Chicago.

The puddings go back to the West Coast of Ireland to my Great Grand-Mother, with the recipe remaining unchanged. I now reside in Worcestershire, continuing to produce Nana’s recipe. Originally the puddings would have been steamed over an open peat fire. In fact, my mother, as a young child, remembers sitting by the fire to make sure the pot did not boil dry. Using 21st century methods, the puddings are still steamed and retain their amazing flavour, especially after being soaked in Irish Whiskey for four days.

Since our launch 2016 we quickly went on to win one of the Guild of Fine Foods Great Taste Awards, we went onto launch a Gin Christmas pudding and a range of condiments and sauces with our Whiskey Butter receiving a Double Great Taste award, and one also for our Cranberry and Port sauce. We are happy to say we are now a Great Taste Producer.

I was privileged to be asked to attend a trade mission with Minister Savid Javid in 2016 just two months after our launch. Since this visit, even members of the US congress have ordered our products, now the puddings go into Europe and all around the world.

Nana Lily

Moreover, in 2020, we began developing a range of sponge puddings, using traditional recipes putting a modern twist onto them. These include: Ultimate sticky toffee with Irish cream and Luscious Limoncello sponge pudding. The non-alcohol range includes Zesty lemon sponge pudding and Sinful sticky toffee pudding.

Furthermore, in 2021 we became an official sponsor of ‘Cooking for Heroes’ for the Royal British Legion centenary cookbook, published by St James’s House. We are delighted to be producing a new sponge pudding for the launch at Claridge’s in October.

These are now stocked in a number of Farm Shops and Delicatessens. We also sell our sponges on QVC with the lovely Andi Peters and the wonderful Food team. In addition, we have increased our everyday range of sauces and preserves, with more products hopefully to be launched later this year.

In just a few short years Nana Lily’s has grown from a kitchen-table endeavour to an international business. And although I am happy to share all my wonderful recipes for you to enjoy, I still remain committed to the principles of home cooking that began all those years ago with my great-grandmother.